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The first of several Kodiaks needed in Papua New Guinea is purchased. Now to get it to the field.

Kodiak airplane purchased

Nestled in the jungle villages of Papua New Guinea, often deep in the mountains, you will find missionaries reaching isolated people groups. Distant. Inaccessible by car or truck—even four-wheel-drive vehicles. These are the locations where many NTM missionaries serve. The plane is their only viable mode of transportation, the conduit for their food and supplies, and the lifeline for medical emergencies both for them and the villagers.

But there was a problem. The leadership of New Tribes Mission of Papua New Guinea summed it up in this quote: “To serve them, we rely on aircraft the same way most of you rely on a car. And in recent years, our situation has been sort of like relying on aging subcompacts that require premium gasoline.  The pilots and mechanics of NTM Aviation who serve us need a better tool.”

After much prayer and research, the decision was made to trust God to replace the aging Papua New Guinea fleet with Kodiaks. A journey of faith began. Tribal missionaries prayed, shared the need, and waited expectantly. … And waited. … And waited some more. But still not a single Kodiak. Missionaries Bill and Kelley Housley—who have helped establish a church in a setting where aircraft were vital—sent out a plea: “Please pray for a Kodiak airplane to serve the tribal churches of this country.”

When doubts surfaced in their minds, the NTM Aviation team pushed them aside, continued to pray, and pursued different venues to fund the plane. They knew that upgrading was essential if they wanted to continue to provide reliable transportation to the NTM tribal teams, teams that are taking God’s message of salvation to remote regions inaccessible by other means of transportation. Kodiaks would be a vital part in reaching the unreached—but the wait continued.

And then God moved. Donors were made aware of the need, hearts were touched, and a Quest Kodiak was purchased for Papua New Guinea. This was not a Kodiak in the making. It was not ordered and then given the usual six-month window for delivery. God had this Kodiak sitting on a ramp at Quest, just waiting for His buyer. “God had been at work all along, building this state-of-the-art mission aircraft while many were praying!” wrote Phil Koop, Executive Director of NTMA.

So what now? The journey of faith is not over. As Phil Koop wrote: “And now, we have more opportunities to trust Him for this Kodiak to get to its field of service. We are not at home plate yet, but we are definitely sliding into third base with home plate in view!” 

We’re praising God for His provision of this first of several Kodiaks needed for Papua New Guinea. This Kodiak will be a vital tool in getting missionaries and their supplies to isolated jungle villages where they are bringing the light of the gospel to those living in spiritual darkness.  

Tags: Aviation, Mission News, Papua New Guinea
POSTED ON May 05, 2014 by Rosie Cochran